The Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) through its Regional Agency for Agriculture and Food (RAAF) has awarded a project to KSA-AgroLog Consortium on “Feedlot, crossbreeding, and meat value chain upgrade” to be carried out in 3 states of the federation in the first instance.
To kick-start the project, RAAF officials paid a 3 day working visit the Kaduna office of KSA-AgroLog Consortium to ascertain the technical, operational, and administrative capacities of the project holder for the implementation of the project. The team which arrived the Consortium’s office on 20th April, 2021 was received by the Project team leader, Dr Adetunji Jolaosho.
During the meeting, the project team leader took time to elaborate on the objective of the project which is to reduce the major constraints that are associated with production, processing and marketing of livestock and meat in the three benefiting states such that the livestock industry and meat value chain can effectively contribute to the Nigerian economy in terms of revenue generation and provision of direct and indirect jobs. The project is expected to achieve the following results;
- Attraction of local and foreign investment
- Increased value of meat available for consumption and possible export
- Improved public health and subsequent reduction of zoonosis
- Provision of direct and indirect jobs for youths and women
- Improved earnings for individual businesses and internally generated revenue for government
- Reduced communal conflicts/crimes, cattle rustling and promotion of happy coexistence
Dr Jolaosho stated that the main activities of the project will be focused on increasing the number of feedlots in operation, crossbreeding of cattle to produce better breeds for farmers and providing modern designs and technical expertise for the private sector to take over the slaughtering and processing of meat in the benefiting states. This will accelerate rollout of modern wholesale and retailing outlets that will provide meat that is safe and wholesome for human consumption.
“Available statistical data has shown that today, Nigerians get low value for their money in beef, as it is 2-3 times more expensive than imported beef could be. Beef consumption in Nigeria is low at about 2 kilos per capita compared to 6 kilos for countries with similar income levels. Nigerian meat, especially beef, also poses high level of health risk. Moreover, in most countries, the industry produces most of its worth by adding value through processing and packaging- about 80% of beef’s value is after slaughter. The story is the reverse in Nigeria which produces very few value added products. Nigerian cattle have low slaughter weight of about 250 kilos at slaughter compared to 450 kilos in Brazil and even higher weights in the United States and Australia”
The team leader also emphasized that part of the project actions will be to ensure that quality legislation on meat safety standards is in place to protect investors in the sector. A memorandum of understanding has already been signed with the governments of the benefiting states and they are ready to partner with KSA-AgroLog consortium in the implementation of the project.
Dr Grace Bila who is the Project Finance Manager and Chairman central steering committee for the project stated in her presentation that though the budget for the project is quite small compared to the work to be done but assured the ECOWAS team that the funds provided would be used exclusively for the implementation of the project.
In his remark, the ECOWAS Mission team leader, Dr Ayayivi Sozouhoin explained that ECOWAS received financial support from the Swiss Confederation for the implementation of the West African Livestock Marketing Support programme (PACBAO) which is aimed at achieving ECOWAS’s Strategic vision to establish a modern, sustainable, inclusive, and competitive agriculture that guarantees decent jobs, food and nutrition security and sovereignty. Dr Sozouhoin who is an expert in social safety nets noted with great satisfaction the technical, administrative, and operational capacities and readiness of KSA-AgroLog Consortium for the implementation of the project.
The ECOWAS team expressed hope that the project will open avenues for bigger projects that will be executed in the country. The PACBAO project in the 3 states is expected to take off soon and last for 24 months and the main beneficiaries targeted are meat sector operators that include pastoral and agropastoral breeders, fatteners, livestock traders, butchers, meat wholesalers and retailers. LIVESTONEWS.
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